Recently, SoaPen Co-Founder Shubham Issar interviewed Abigail Peterson of Kindergarten Chaos LLC. As a licensed teacher, curriculum writer, national speaker and author of the website, Kindergarten Chaos, LLC, Abbi has a lot of experience with “little learners” (as she likes to call them) and what makes kids successful in the classroom. Her interest in teaching started when she was younger, and bloomed into a full on passion in college. During the interview she said, “I always role played as a teacher when I was little. I knew I loved the idea of being a teacher, even though at that point I wasn't exactly sure what I wanted to do. I just knew I wanted to do something that helped people. I started off in nursing and then pivoted into teaching. After being able to be in the classroom, I really fell in love with teaching.”
Kids see the world differently, so Abbi puts a lot of her focus on trying to see the classroom through their eyes. One of the many topics that stood out to us from the interview was Abbi’s thoughts on incorporating empowerment into the classroom. She does this by specifically laying out various activities that the children in her classroom can choose from. While each of these activities are purposefully and meaningfully designed to teach them the skills required for their standard grade level, those fun activities are also empowering them through the act of choosing.
“I choose a lot of hands-on activities that incorporate fine motor practice. I always have options, because nobody wants to sit for 15 minutes at a literacy station and do the same thing over and over. So, I always provided options. If somebody wanted to make a list of their friends' names, they could at the writing stations. Alternatively, if somebody wanted to write their own story, they could. If somebody wanted to write in a journal, they could. If somebody wanted to label a picture, they could. So there's always options for students to practice what they're learning at their level, but it also empowers them because they feel like they have a say in their learning.” Abbi explained.
Empowering children helps them believe that their strengths can flourish and that they can survive inevitable setbacks and failures. Guiding children in a manner that encourages their belief in their own abilities and potential for positive growth makes learning important skills fun and engages their natural curiosity, creativity, resourcefulness, and resilience. From Abbi’s point of view, it’s a necessary part of education.
We also asked Abbi about the role teachers have had to play during the pandemic, and how they get kids to wash their hands or be more mindful about hygiene habits.
“I think it's just been a global effort because of the situation. I think in the classroom before the pandemic, we were always encouraged to wash our hands and always encouraged little learners to keep their fingers out of their noses and things like that. Now it's just hypersensitive because of the Coronavirus,” Abbi explained.
This interview really resonated with us here at SoaPen because washing your hands, one of the most important habits to teach kids, doesn’t necessarily come with very many choices other than washing your hands or not washing your hands. With SoaPen, not only do teachers get an opportunity in the classroom to make hygiene habits fun, but they are able to provide little learners with an opportunity to empower themselves with these healthy habits.
Whether you are a teacher looking for ways to incorporate empowerment into your students’ daily hygiene habits, or a parent at home looking for fun ways to shake up your child’s hand washing routine, SoaPen is a wonderful option to help keep kids clean, healthy, and well. We are thrilled to have had this opportunity to speak with Abbi from Kindergarten Chaos, LLC. To learn more about Abbi and the work she is doing to empower little learners, visit her Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/kindergarten_chaos/.